tv Review 2016 BBC News December 25, 2016 10:30pm-11:00pm GMT
could be problematic. if you're travelling, bear in mind it could be tricky. and this is bbc news, the headlines: the queen pays tribute to what she calls and sing heroes, such as carers and volunteers, in her christmas message. i often draw strength from meeting ordinary people. volunteers, carers, community organisers, and good neighbours. meanwhile, she misses the christmas day church service at sandringham as she has a cold. the duke of edinburgh and other royals attended on the norfolk estate. at least 11 bodies have been recovered from the black sea after a russian military plane crashed killing all 92 people on board. the mother of
carrie fisher, the actress, debbie reynolds, has written on social media that her daughters in a stable condition in an la hospital, on friday the actress suffered heart problems on a flight from london the united states. now on bbc news, mark kermode takes a look back at the big releases of the year, sorting out the crackers from the turkeys in this review 2016: the in film. hello and welcome to this review of the year in film. i'm mark kermode, and we're here at the cinema museum in south london where for the next half now we will be looking back at some of the best movies released in uk cinemas in 2016. 2016 was a pretty tumultuous year, what with the "brexit" vote injune, and the results of the american election in november proving that the unexpected really can happen. in the world of politics, uncertainty can be alarming.
when it comes to movies, it is the expected which really makes it all worthwhile. while the naysayers can blame that movies today are just an endless slew of sequels, remakes and superhero franchise fodder, let's spend some time celebrating the films which offered something different. which prove that cinema today really is more vibrantly diverse than ever. 2016 got off to a remarkable start with room, irish director lenny abrahamson‘s film about a mother and child inprisoned,
adapted by screenwriter emma donoghue from her bestselling novel. room opened in the uk injanuary to rave reviews, particularly for brie larson, who went on to win both the bafta and oscar for best actress. you're going to help me trick 0ld nick. this is our chance. you're gonna play dead. 0ld nick is going to come and take you outside, and i'm going to be there in your head talking to you the whole time. i'm scared. i know. the oscar for best picture went to spotlight, a fact—based drama about the boston globe's coverage of a child abuse scandal within the catholic church. but the oscars themselves were mired with headline grabbing controversy when the subject of racism in hollywood and the oscarssowhite hashtag made front—page news. of the 20 0scar nominees for best actor, best actress, best supporting actor and best supporting actress,
not one was a person of colour. oh, and in the best director category, all the nominees were men, again. it's a depressing state of affairs and the academy have taken steps to ensure their membership becomes more diverse, but, despite such embarrassing and, there was one area in which the oscars got it right, and that was in the foreign—language film category. having premiered in cannes, back in 2015, laszlo nemes' searing holocaust drama son of saul took the oscar for foreign—language film in february, 2016. with claude lanzeman, the filmmaker behind shoah, declaring that this hungarian masterpiece presented a very real sense of what it was like to be in the sonderkommando. son of saul was a deserving 0scar winner, but nominated alongside it were some of the best films to open in uk cinemas in 2016. from director ciro guerra, embrace of the serpent, a monochrome mix of fact and fantasy, western exploration
and amazonian myth that earned colombia its first nomination for the foreign—language film 0scar. from france, mustang, a tale of turkish sisters imprisoned in their home imprisoned in their home by a controlling uncle. beautifully directed by deniz gamze erguven, who coached vibrant performances from her ensemble cast, mustang also benefited from a terrific score by warren ellis. ellis is one of modern cinema's most intriguing composers, alongside the likes ofjohnny greenwood alongside the likes of johnny greenwood and clint mansell, who did superb work on ben wheatley‘s adaptation ofjg ballard's dystopian novel, high—rise, his woozy, sensuous score heavily capturing the film's increasingly unsettling tone. i'm so sorry.
i'll survive. i thought you were empty. ijust moved in. you're an excellent specimen. high—rise opened in uk cinemas in march, where it went head—to—head with the coen brothers' splendid throwback hollywood fantasy, hail, caesar!, one of the most delightfully silly films of the year. why do you say it like that, why do you say "t‘were"? well, you said "say it like i say it." yes, but... you seem to be lingering. it's interminable, the word, i'm wondering when it will end, and we shouldn't be wondering, should we, we should be marching right along to so simple. when april rolled around, nothing could touch thejungle book, disney's reboot of its classic cartoon which became the real king of the swingers at the uk box office. billed as a live action affair, thejungle book was almost entirely cgi with the young star's mowgli being one of the very few live—action elements in a movie which cast idris elba as a digital shere khan, bill murray as a lovable baloo the bear, and christopher walken as a gigantic king louie. moving on to may, and 0nce director john carney‘s sing street a smile
on my face and a spring in my step with its tale of a teenager's pop—tastic adventures in the mysterious world of 80s dublin. meanwhile, over in france, the 69th cannes film festival offered yet more reasons for rejoicing as ken loach won his second palme d'0r for the social realist drama i, daniel blake. having previously claimed the top prize with the wind that shakes the barley, ken loach, who turned 80 this year, won the judges over once again with his blistering tale of newcastle joiner recovering from a heart attack or finds himself on the wrong end of a bureaucratic benefit system. superbly scripted by paul lafferty, with outstanding performances by davejohns and hayley squires, i, daniel blake is powerful
and impassioned film—making. no wonder bothjohns and squires were honoured with trophies at the recent british independent film awards. what i gather now is the decision—maker, the decision—maker's gonna be sending you a letter through the post. you're gonna have to wait for that. my kids have to start school tomorrow, i've got about 12 quid in me purse. all because you can'tjust calm down and listen to people when they talk, you all have to do this. you know what, i've listened to you, you've created a scene. no mate, if i was going to create a scene, you'd know about it. you need to leave the building. this is ridiculous. who is first in this queue? do you mind if this young lass signs on first? there you go. now you can go back to your desk and let her sign on and do thejob that the taxpayer pays you for. the jury prize at cannes also went to a british film—maker, andrea arnold, whose first us—set feature, american honey, went on to win best film at the biffas. centring on sasha lane's texan teen who hits the road with a number of young magazine sellers, american honey was shot by i,
daniel bla ke's cinematography, robbie ryan, who worked wonders with the square academy ratio frame which is andrea arnold's preferred format. remarkable, too, to see transformers star shia labeouf doing career—best work in a film which is the very antithesis of those bloated blockbuster movies which made him a star. of course, those blockbuster movies continue to thrive. the transformers franchise was very much in evidence here in autumn as they shot scenes for the forthcoming transformers: the last night, which we can all look forward to in 2017(!). in the mean time, the summer of 2016 was dominated by the return of a forgetfulfish, who made a whale—size splash at the box office despite her diminutive portions.
disney—pixar‘s finding dory was one of a slew of animated features which breathed life into uk cinemas in 2016. i'm coming. sorry. that's ok. everybody does it, nothing to be ashamed of. injune, we got the long—delayed release of the anime gem when marnie was there, studio ghibli's japanese adaptation studio ghibli's japanese adaptation ofjoan g robinson's norfolk set novel. then there was zootropolis, or zootopia as its known in the us, which is currently shaping up as a strong contender for the forthcoming animated feature 0scar. 0ther contenders include kubo and the two strings,
a sublime stop—motion animation from pa ranorman creators studio laika. he just saved our lives. yes, he's very powerful, but he still has much to learn. what? fast learner. and moana, disney's current cinema offering from the directors of aladdin and the little mermaid. the real treat for me, however, was makoto shinkai's your name, a thrilling body swap anime which topped the japanese box office charts for three months before wowing audiences here in the uk. while films like finding dory and zootropolis delighted audiences
and critics alike other blockbusters proved altogether more divisive. take, for example, zack snyder's much—hyped batman vs superman: dawn of justice, which proved a solid box office hit when it opened here in march despite almost universally negative reviews from sniffy critics like me. who were variously accused of being corrupt, idiotic or simply out of touch. now in fact, what the financial success of batman vs superman proved is that reviews have zero effect on box office. audiences don't go to see films because critics love them or hate them, they go because they want to see them. or, they don't. take note, alex proyas, director of this year's copper—bottomed stinker gods of egypt, who took to social media to call critics "a pack of diseased vultures, pecking at the bones of a dying carcass",
without realising that in doing so, he was effectively calling his own movie roadkill. 0ops! while batman vs superman caught its fair share of critical flak other superheroes did better, with the critics. take ryan reynolds's deadpool, marvel‘s wisecracking self reflexive anti hero who took the box office by storm and earned pretty decent notices in the process. captain america: civil war performed well too, when that opened in april, in the autumn, dr strange offered up a winning mix of superhero antics and ken russell—style hallucinogenics. the reality you know is one of many. this doesn't make any sense. not everything does. not everything has to.
0n the evidence of these movies, we are not going to see an end to big budget blockbuster comic book film franchises any time in the near future. but it was at the other end of the financial spectrum, and indeed often on the other side of the atlantic, that the really interesting stuff was happening. encouragingly, 2016 saw the release of a number of low—budget home—made features which really put their more expensive counterparts to shame. take, for example, notes on blindness, an electrifying adaptation of the memoirs of theologian john hull, who made cassette recordings documenting his loss of sight and subsequent journey from darkness to light. getting actors to lip sync to these recordings recordings in a manner similar to that used by clio barnard for the arbor, film—makers peter middleton and james spinney created and james spinney created something really unique, a film which is informative, empathetic and deeply spiritual, one of the very best films of the year. the pictures in the gallery
of my mind have dimmed somewhat. everything was drifting away, how could this happen to me? who had the right to deprive me of the sight of my children at christmas time? notes on blindness was one of several home—made indie pictures that opened in the uk this year. 0ther admirable oddities included stephen fingleton‘s stripped down northern ireland thriller the survivalist, joe stevenson's joe stevenson's chicken. joe stevenson's chicken, and jane gull‘s my feral heart, with a brilliant central performance by newcomer stephen brandon. my favourite film of 2016 was the spine—chilling british production under the shadow, from iran—born london—based writer—director ba bak anvari.
the uk's entry for the foreign language film 0scar, under the shadow was set in terrain, shot injordan and filmed in faster, there are not too roman polansky and the guilermo del toro but anvari's superbly creepy chiller conjures an atmosphere which is uniquely its own. with very strong performances by narges rashidi and avin manshadi as the mother and daughter terrorised by falling bombs, marauding djinn spirits and religious zealots, under the shadow is a film that you simply must not miss, believe me, it will take your breath away. films like under the shadow
and notes on blindness found their audiences thanks in large part to the efforts of the uk's still thriving independent cinema circuit, the real heart of the movies. if you're lucky enough to have a local arthouse cinema, then make sure you make the most of it. multiplexes are fine, up to a point, but without the independents we will end up with an endless stream of movies which all look the same and nobody wants that. the 13th amendment to the constitution makes it unconstitutional for someone to be kept as a slave. there are exceptions, including criminals. the loophole was immediately exploited... what you got after that... of course, in the age of the internet, viewing habits are changing,
with more and more people choosing to watch movies online. this in itself is not a problem unless the film's online presence prevents people from seeing it in cinemas and that was kind of the case with the brilliant documentary 13th, by ava du vernay, which provocatively teased out connections between the history of slavery and modern—day imprisonment in the usa. it's powerful polemical fare and for me, one of the real highlights of the year but having been funded by netflix, 13th was only allowed to play in one cinema in the uk, this, despite the fact that several independent cinemas were hammering for the chance to show it. in an ideal world, streaming services and cinemas would work hand—in—hand, not in competition. this beast that is needed to be controlled. it became virtually impossible for a politician to run and appear soft on crime. the kinds of kids that are called super creditors. millions of dollars will be designated forjail facilities. as the autumn rolled around, fans of science fiction welcome
the arrival of arrival, the beautiful first—contact movie from french—canadian director denis villeneuve, who made the great thriller, sicario, based on a story by ted chiang, arrival starred amy adams as a linguist, recruited to help communicate with aliens whose nature and purpose is unknown. they need to see me. are you insane? now that's a proper introduction. a film of ideas rather than special effects, arrival played in uk cinemas around the same time tom ford's nocturnal animals, which also starred amy adams, in a very different role, this time as an la art dealer, confronted by ghosts of the past. 0ther outstanding female performances in films released 0ther outstanding female performances in films released in the uk in 2016 include
isabelle huppert‘s wonderful work in mia hansen—love's things to come, a drama about an academic whose life is unexpectedly change when her husband reveals a dark secret. then there was pedro almodovar‘s julieta, sensibly adapted from the writings of canadian author alison munro, with award—winning performances from the younger and older incarnations of the up character. for me, this was pedro almodovar‘s best work since volver. i was also bowled over by meryl streep as the so—called diva of din industries and free's and affectionate and funny florence fosterjenkins, a celebration of life of the first lady of the sliding scale. plaudits too to kate beckinsale, who was an acerbic delight in whit stillman‘s love & friendship, perhaps the most perfect screen rendering ofjane austen —— the most perfect screen rendering
of jane austen's matchlessly witty writing. and, let's not forget, kate dickie, deeply disturbing in the ultra—creepy new england folktale the witch. take your children outside. what does this, what does this? when it comes to leading men, few were better than david 0yelowo in united kingdom, opening the london sun festival in october, directed by a female british director of proud ghanaian heritage, the united kingdom broke several glass ceilings as it told the story of david 0yelowo, as an african king in waiting, and rosamund pike. having been overlooked for sterling work in selma,
david 0yelowo would be top of my award pack this term. we should not be fighting for segregation, we should be fighting for equality, that is where we should be focusing our minds, not on the wi—fi have chosen, who means you no harm, whose only apparent crime has been to fall in love with me. —— not on the wife i have chosen. taking inspiration from films like martin scorsese's king of comedy, this is a roller—coaster ride, built on not one but two great performances, no wonder he is one of the world's most popular movie stars, excellent work by shah rukh khan. 2016 was also the year we lost some great stars,
from gene wilder, to alan rickman, who worked wonders both behind and in front of the camera, to david bowie, whose man who fell to earth got a poignant big—screen rerelease injune. other significant re—issues include the 30th anniversary outing for david lynch's blue velvet and a big—screen rerelease of in the heat of the night as part of the bfi's black star season, celebrating the range, versatility and power of black actors. perhaps the most remarkable return of 2016 was of napoleon, able gans‘s silent masterpiece from 1927, back on house screen with a magnificent score by carl davis, seen in its most complete form, this reissue was the result of decades of research and restoration work, and what a glorious sight it was to see. as the end of the year rolled around, star wars is back
in our cinemas in the shape of rogue one, a stand—alone anthology instalment set before the events of the 1977 original. like its iconic predecessor, it relies heavily on british talent, from gareth edwards, director, to felicity jones to the army of technicians at elstree studios where much of the film is shot. worth noting as well that another of the year ‘s runaway hits, bridgetjones‘s baby, was also a home—grown success story, with welsh director sharon maguire helming the third series instalment to record—breaking box office success. maintaining good relationship with ex—husband. and my love life is showing signs of improvement. may i?
it fits! aside from one tiny development... i'm pregnant? everything is completely under control! sort of... whether you like your movies big or small, down—to—earth or out of this world, there really was something for everyone in uk cinemas in 2016. sometimes, you just had to look a little bit harder to find it. let me do this, please. a very windy end to christmas day
across northern parts of the uk, blowing a gale across the pennines, the north of scotland also, storm force winds, boxing day, stills some wind around, but also in the sunshine, which is much better than what we had during the day today, grey skies and mild weather brought into the north of us, in the short—term, this is what was happening, a cold front stretching out from the north sea, across the midlands, down to the south—west, this here is the dividing line between the mild air to the south and the cold air, invading the uk, you can see it as quite a bit colder across scotland, and the very top end of the pennines, wintry showers, temperatures not far from freezing, the far south still have some of the
mile area, but it should be out of the way once the cold front sweeps into the continent, this high will be played in the coming days, but at the moment, corner is to the north of us, again, fierce winds of scotland, an amber warning in force, 80 mph gusts, is still some showers, but down south, a different story, light winds, temperatures, six in northampton, eight in bournemouth, eight in brighton, we had 13 and 1a so, a drop in temperature, but at least we have the sunshine, so it was lovely and crisp. scotland, different story, lots and lots of blue, showers brought in by a strong winds and strong force winds across northern parts of the uk but the southern two thirds of the country should have something like this one boxing day. a nice day. tuesday, rather low—pressure, a huge area of high—pressure forming, a very intense high—pressure, in excess of millibars, that means that with clear skies during the day across the vast majority of the uk there
will be a clear night, and a clear night equals a pretty nippy night, and that means first thing on wednesday morning there will be a touch of frost across many areas, also, some fog around, and the fog make problematic in the coming days so make problematic in the coming days so if you are travelling between christmas and new yearjust bear in mind that especially around some country lanes in the morning it could be a little and tricky side. this is bbc news. the headlines at 11pm: the queen pays tribute to unsung heroes who do small acts of goodness in her christmas message. i often draw strength from meeting ordinary people doing extraordinary things. volunteers, carers, community organisers and good neighbours. but she's forced to miss the christmas day church service at sandringham because of a heavy cold. 11 bodies have been recovered from the black sea after a russian military plane crashes, killing all 92 people on board. also in the next hour,